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Archive for April 7th, 2012

By Bob Clark

There are certain names that are so wholly identified with their characters and personae from fiction that once raised in another work, they carry with them a whole range of ideas, themes and moods that are unavoidable for those familiar with the originals in question. Usually, it’s easy to see the characters being identified with their namesakes– the recent film Declaration of War seemed a little on-the-nose with its pair of lovers named Romeo and Juliette, just slightly Frenchified and somewhere just within the range of acceptable thanks to how it provides a veneer-thin veil for the actors/filmmakers’ masking of the true-life story they put on the screen. Kevin Smith had a tendency to go very broad and obvious with some of his naming early in his career– Dante of Clerks living the perpetual hell of a convenience store in Jersey or Holden of Chasing Amy implying a naive, immature perspective on modern love and sexuality befitting Salinger’s troubled teen. Sometimes the naming conventions go farther and weirder in terms of how they affect both fictional characters and the people playing them– one wonders what jokes Godard was playing for all the names he gave Anna Karina, especially the Tolstoy gambit of that name itself. In the case of a movie like  Gregg Araki’s fifth film and biggest budgeted feature at that time, however, the choice of naming and the reference it carries arrives with something far more specific and yet at the same time fleeting, making it feel something like an unofficial adaptation. In this case, it’s hard to look at The Doom Generation and not think of Mark Beyer’s Amy and Jordan.

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